A Recollection from Dr. Jack Fujimoto

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Ascendant – the Call

Dr. Jack FujimotoIn the summer of 1977, some 40 years ago, Dr. George Stewart, a prominent Black dentist on the Board of Trustees of the Los Rios Community College District, called at midnight to say that I could be the President of Sacramento City College, succeeding Dr. Sam Kipp. Being the first Asian American, much less Japanese American, to “pierce the glass ceiling” of American academe was a “dream come true”.

My City College Legacy

Sifting through the numerous wonderful experiences at Sacramento City College, many standout.

  • Through the Office of President, an “open door policy” was implemented and managed through Nancy Marre, my administrative assistant.
  • Through Murray Haase and his student data base as well as his data analytics, individualized learning plans were made for each student.
  • Expanding the campus through frequent interfaces with Al Rodda of the California State Senate and his principal staffer, Gerry Hayward
  • Permitting Ken Lynch to have his first Lesbian theater program at the Campus theater
  • Early morning donut clatches with campus custodians as important stakeholders
  • Outreach to the SCC community with programs in the City of Davis near UC-Davis, the Folsom Prison, and the Latino barrio (Tortilla Flats) in downtown Sacramento
  • Inviting Bob Matsui to announce his candidacy for the US Congress and his frequent visits after his successful candidacy
  • Expanding the College Library as a Learning Center through work with Marguerite Jones
  • Extend the community services program into the SCC community through Ellen Ito
  • College decision making through inclusion of stakeholders and systematic notetaking using easels, blackboards, chalkboards or other visuals… a practice adopted by many
  • Improving management practices through collaboration with Higher Education Management Institute (HEMI) and their representative, Bill Tucker of the Dallas Community College District
  • Working closely with Dick Perucci as the athletic director to keep the major sports program and venues updated

An Unfinished Task

One task that I had wished to fulfill was the naming of a garden on campus for the late George Inagaki, a friend who lived in West Los Angeles (my home base before coming to Sacramento), and former national president of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), who was a premier debater for Sacramento Junior College in the 1930s. Sorry, George.